7/8/11

The Little Boss


At different times in my life, my little sister Melissa has been a crime partner, an adversary, a co-star and a stranger. Nowadays I’m glad to say that she is one of my closest allies. Somewhere along the line, she managed to become cooler than me, which was pretty devastating at first, but I figure it was just the advantage of having a bad-ass older brother. I have compiled a list of 10 random Melissa Moments I look back on with a special fondness.

1. The time she helped me convince my mom to buy us Zanzibar and Zarana because it would encourage us to play GI Joe together.
2. When she helped me get the house straight before our folks got home after a hardcore, highschool kegger.
3. The time she volunteered to join me on a impulsive 24 hour trip to Tijuana and back, just so we could see Santo vs. La Parka in a cage match.
4. Every time she hooks up dank from her job at a medical marijuana dispensary!
5. The time she bought me a book on Mexican paletas and the popsicle molds, just because.
6. The amazing ‘Always Sunny in Philadelphia’ get-togethers she’s hosted for the last few seasons.
7. The time we decided to revolt against the babysitter and made picket signs to express what a bitch she was being.
8. Every time she had my back when we’d get into throw-downs with other little kids at parks (which happened pretty much every time we were allowed to go to the park).
9. The time we watched lucha in a nightclub and devised an alcohol system made up of a garbage can and a bottle of Southern Comfort.
10. When she woke me up on a Saturday morning to excitedly report that she had beaten the Germany level on Road Rash for the Sega Genesis.


I wanted to stencil up something nice for her birthday this year and started working on a classic photo of her I had. A recent obsession with hounds-tooth ensured it’s inclusion and I was able to revisit a previous technique involving painting both sides of a piece of glass, as well as incorporating a separate background. Each layer is comprised of several stencil layers, giving it a nice depth that reminds me of an animation cell. It strayed pretty far from what I’d originally envisioned, as I kept tweaking elements (dig the subtle sunburst effect on the frame) and it took me a week past her birthday to finish up (a fact she playfully gave me shit about until it was done).

Happy Birthday, Melissa. Can’t wait for the season premier of Always Sunny. I’ll bring the popsicles!

6/2/11

The Art of Showing Off

My apartment is slowly starting to look more and more like the inside of my head. No, not messy and fart-filled, but covered top to bottom with loud, irreverent images that alternatively amuse and horrify me, depending on the day.
A while back I waxed on how Garbage Pail Kids had ruined by life by triggering a compulsive 'collector' behavior in me and this post will only hammer that point home. Sure, these are technically art and as everyone knows, only classy people are down with art, but when I look around my abode, it's hard not to see these as giant, limited-edition trading cards posted up everywhere.

Tim Doyle does a scene from my favorite movie of all time. So many scenes to pick from and I love that he went with this subdued, emotional one. It really reminds of me something out of a war movie, with one soldier keeping his wounded brother-in-arms alive. Amid the greed, deception and violence of the botched diamond heist, a brief moment of intense camradarie is captured, made all the more tragic by the fact that we know the dying Mr. Orange's true nature. And something about that skyline just adds a sense of poetry to the whole thing. This is from the Spoke Art Tarantino/Coen Bros. shows. Those bastards made me choose from around 40 different amazing pieces, and as much as I wanted them all, this was definitely my favorite of the bunch.

Mumm-Ra, while strong and wise, has too much manic energy to whip up an elaborate cake, but luckily the Hulkster is on hand to not only keep him in check, but to set a strong example for Real Americans everywhere. How does this exist? Betty Turbo's series of baking related art is pleasantly bizarre through and through, but this features a real focused insanity that speaks directly to my soul. I framed and hung this son of gun in my kitchen and vow to hang it in every kitchen I own until the day Hulkamania dies (never).

When I found out Dragatomi had been holding monthly art shows for the last few months, I was curious as to what I might have missed so far. When I found out that the last one featured art inspired from John Carpenter's "Big Trouble in Little China", I died a little inside, devestated that I had missed it. When I found out it was still on display with prints for sale, I ducked out of work early to see what I could get my grubby hands on.
When I see art like this I can't help but think, "The Mona Lisa really can go fuck itself." If we could get images tattooed on the inside of our eyelids, I'd probably impulsively choose this. Maybe it's the years of Street Fighter 2, but I've always been a sucker for sunbursts and kanji characters. The insane intensity of Lo Pan is perfectly captured here, and I love the color choices and application. The artis is Danny Miller, who I wasn't familiar with before, but I'm already anxiously awaiting to see what he cooks up next.

In case you didn't know, podcasts are the next shit. Whereas radio and television are ruled by what will sell and what won't, any dipshit with a laptop and a mic and make his own podcasts, which allows some oddly fascinating voices to be heard on weekly basis. While I mostly listen to stand-up comedians podcasts (which are like free, weekly comedy albums), one of favorites is Colt Cabana's Art of Wrestling. Colt shoots the shit with battle-scarred vets which plays out like "The Wrestler" if it had been directed by a young Kevin Smith. I'd been wanting to pick up something from his merch site to support the free awesomeness he provides, and when he dropped this limited print by DC comic artist Mike Norton, I instantly snatched one up (number 4 of 250!)

The Wire is like smoking weed. Either you never really gave it a chance and don't fuck with it, or you tried it and loved it more than life itself. If you fuck with the Wire, then you are most likely marveling at the beautiful son of a bitch above (and if you don't, stop by Sexington Manor on Sunday night for the weekly Wire/weed marathon). The Barksdale Crew, masterfully rendered by (again) Tim Doyle in a style that reminds of me of Mexican loteria cards. Originally part of a second series of Wire handbills (the first was a blue rendition of the show's police officers), this uncut sheet puts a big, dumb grin on my face every time I see it. Tim dropped these via Twitter on Easter Sunday and I am not ashamed to admit that I fled my family's Easter festivities with a quickness so I could get my order in before they sold out. And I probably wouldn't be a true Wire nerd if I didn't point out Method Man's "Cheese" character (second row from the bottom/far right), is the only character not formally tied to the Barksdale crew (Cutty and Mouzone worked for them, but Cheese was Prop Joe's soldier/nephew). But one of my life rules is "adding Wu Tang to something never hurts" so at the end of the day, Cheese's inclusion only enhances Doyle's masterpiece. When you walk through the garden, you better watch your back.

Yep. That's me right there. For years I've marveled at Casey Garcia's paintings of the beautifully tragic, and when she hinted that she might be painting me as a birthday gift last year, I forbid myself to even fathom what it would look like. I would sheepishly inquire as to the progress she was making, only to be told she was still putting the finishing touches on it. She kept me on pins and needles for 8 damn months, but those finishing touches paid off, cause on her last visit down from Seattle, she unveiled this bad motherfucker. I'm not sure if she turned up the handsomeness, or just downplayed my goofiness, but this is definitely the painting I'll be showing to my cats when I'm old.

5/9/11

Wizardry



Get fucked up. Be Awesome. Get some booty.

When you get down to brass tacks, this is what most rappers are rapping about. And while it's hard to argue against the virtues of being awesome and getting laid, it's refreshing when someone calls up and asks, "you think you can write 16 bars about wizards and shit?" Yes, Joey Lisp. Yes, I can.

From the ashes of the glorious From Parts Unknown empire have risen MCLB and DJ Joey Lisp as "Hear No Evil." MCLB, who always shined as the breakout star of FPU, proves himself as the hardest working emcee in the area, while Joey Lisp, still killing it with the ill beats and scratch techniques, has really come into his own as an emcee.

I plunged myself into the topic, not unlike a magic wand being stabbed into Harry Potter's eye socket. Being the pop-culture/punchline whore that I am, I manage to name check Dr. Strange, Gob Bluth and Dungeons & Dragons and suggest that a vagina is capable of resembling the gaping sleeve of a wizards robe. Get a taste below and head on over to Hear No Evil's SoundCloud page for even more magic.

Wizardry by Hear No Evil 2012

Wizard graphic by Skinner

5/5/11

Plug the Right One In


There are two types of people in life: The killer death-bots and the people who feed them blood. I’m trying to play the death-bot, but mostly end up refilling the blood glass each morning.


I wanted to challenge myself after the success of Saint America, and thanks to Anna who had hooked up every single shade of grey spray paint that Montana makes as a birthdy gift, I had a good excuse to go black and white this time. This was around the same time Quint from AintItCoolNews started his awesome Behind the Scenes Pic of the Day column, and this Metropolis image spoke to me. The actress portraying the iconic robot Maria, cooling off as a production assistant provides a refreshment. Looking at the snapshot without the historic significance, it plays around with ideas of growing old and the increased importance of technology. And it that’s too trying too hard, then it’s about sexy, vampire cyborgs.


This bastard took me longer than I’d care to admit, with me often getting lost in the various layer shades. It was hard to walk away from it, and I really indulged when applying details to the robotic body. Dig the misty screen effect in the background that was achieved with some plastic fencing I'd found in the country.


24" x 24" wooden panel vs. spray paint vs. stencils

2/25/11

Kind of Blue (Demon)

I've seen Blue Demon Jr. a handful of times at live lucha libre events and it's fair to say I had a pretty good buzz going each time. If I had to wager I'd say that I've screamed the phrase, "Your my boy, Blue!" at him more times than anyone else in the modern world.

I had initially thrown this piece out, only to pick it up a few months later, this time with the sense to add a final layer (most of the black paint), which transformed it into one of my favorites. The lesson learned? Keep painting until it looks cool.

2/17/11

Beware of S.P.H.I.N.X.

Sphinx.

SPHINX.

S.P.H.I.N.X!

A stencil I did last year as a tribute to both the unstoppable force of Brock Samson and to my cat who sorta smells like old french fries.

2/16/11

The Caveman Cometh

Art week is chugging right along with a third consecutive post! I thought I'd change things up today by showing a snapshot of my current work in progress. Spray paint on wood. I'm trying to challenge myself by using only 3 shades of blue for the whole deal. This is yet another luchador piece, this time featuring the dreaded Cavenario Galindo.

Come on back tomorrow for a venture into the streets.

2/15/11

The Garcia Circus is in town!

Today's post is dedicated to my glorious cousin Casey Garcia, but I should probably dedicate this whole blog to her.

See, me and Case came up since we both a few months old, letting out little farts in a dirty playpen. We've remained mad tight over the years, and still chat almost every day, mostly to discuss beer, video games and the complexities of women. She was the first person to really show me what art meant and without her influence, I'd have never picked up a spray can in the first place, so please raise your glasses to my awesome cuzzo.

This is the second stencil I ever committed to canvas, and to give you an idea of how highly I think of her, the first was of Hulk Hogan. I was just getting the idea of how to best play with multiple layers of color, and find the dark gray layers especially charming. Also notice the screen effect used hoodie elements on the right. I've had a lot of luck with laying fly screen on layers before spraying (see also Not My Ritchie and Dirk the Daring), and the piece I'm working on next (tune in tomorrow) is especially screen-centric.

The day after my first art show I called Casey and told her how popular her depiction had been with the crowd. Without missing a beat, she matter-of-factly responded, "Yeah, cause I'm pretty." Confident, artsy, and full of beans...that's my cousin!

You can follow her on Twitter at @garciacircus (featuring a very familiar icon!)

2/14/11

Eizaipalooza!

Thanks to all who came out to the Cookie Company show to see the latest art from Anna and myself. I chatted about my art and ate so many cookies that by the end of the night, I was a regular Robert Crumb (boom).

My latest stencil work ate so much of my time over the last two months that this place got real barren. It was snatched up for the show hours after I finished it, so I haven't had the chance to take a nice photo of it yet, but can't wait to show it off to you all soon. In the mean time, I'll try to make up for lost time by dropping a new post every day this week featuring a mix of some new stuff, some old stuff and a preview of the current bastard I am laying down.

We'll kick things off with an epic flyer I recently completed for my good pal, Karla. Below we see her darling offspring Eizai rendered in the same style I use for stenciling, but done up Photoshop style. As often as I use Photoshop, I'd never tried ths before and was very happy with how it came out.

Will I keep my word and post something tomorrow?!? Stay tuned to find out.

1/3/11

New Old Tracks

A new homie asked me if I had any old songs I could dig up for him. While they are a little rough, there is still plenty of charm to them and they are worth a play through. But I didn't want to write a bunch of junk about each track.

So, instead, I will compare each song to an old NES game. You remember NES games. While they are a little rough, there is still plenty of charm to them and they are worth a play through...

Noon Blue Apples - From Parts Unknown (Mr. V/Rip Sexington/MCLB)
Game it's like: Metroid

Why: An ice beam is often required to battle space creatures.
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Black Arts - From Parts Unknown (Dark Sage / Rip Sexington)
Game it's like: Battletoads

Why: Just because the characters are wacky doesn't mean that it isn't REALLY HARD.
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The Low End Dynasty - From Parts Unknown (Rip Sexington / Dark Sage / Mr. V)
Game it's like: Nobunanga's Ambition

Why: To learn the story of Asia, is to learn the story of... ourselves.
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